Open Access Week 2014 Celebrated in Nepal

With a theme of Generation Open (Everywhere), International Open Access Week was celebrated for the first time in Nepal for the opening 2 days: October 20th, 21st. The event, which was led by newly founded Open Access Nepal, and supported by Electronic Information for Libraries (EIFL) and The Right To Research Coalition (R2RC). On the Day 1st (Oct. 20) there was an conference and on the Day 2nd (Oct.21) there was an Workshop.

Open Access Nepal is an affiliate chapter of Right to Research Coalition (R2RC), a U.S. based organization dedicated towards the advocacy and promotion of open access and its policies worldwide. Open Access Nepal was established in early 2014 with the fundamental objective of promoting open access principles and research activity amongst students and researchers. It aims to nurture potential researchers with unrestricted access to scholarly articles. The prime function of Open Access Nepal at the moment is to advocate and aware students, librarians, researchers and journal representatives about open access and its benefits.

Day 1st (October 20) Conference Day:

Event started at 09:00 AM sharp after the registration and tea break. There was an Questionnaire session at the beginning of the event, and was followed through Video presentation, where different videos related to open access and research where shown. Mr. Roshan Karn, Director of Open Access Nepal gave a short introduction on how Open Access Nepal was founded and what its objectives are. After his introductory speech, presentation sessions began Find the list of the presentation topic and the name of the presentation:

1) Introduction to Open Access – Iryna Kuchma, Program Manager of Eletronic Information for Libraries (EIFL).

2) OA for Student, Libraries and Researchers – Janardan Dhungana, Chief of Tribhuwan University Central Library.

3) Open Access Movements and NeLIC – Jagdish Aryal from The Social Science Baha.

4) Overview of Research in Nepal and Open Access – Madhusudhan Gautam from Research Methodology and Economics, PhD candidate for Development Studies, Kathmandu University.

5) Status of OA in Nepal – Lal Bahadur Chauhan, Assistant Librarian of Tribhuwan University Central Library.

6) Open Access Repository – Shyan Kirat Rai, Training and Research Officer from Center for Knowledge Management and IT, Nepal Administrative Staff College.

7) Need of OA for Student – Purna Lal Shrestha, Associate Librarian of TUCL.

8) Open Access Advantages, Quality and Progress of Research – Pushpa Raj Subedi, Librarian of Global International College.

9) Ope Access Publishing Growing Fast – Anil Kumar Jha from ICIMOD.

10) Developed Digital Library in NHRC using different Open Source Library Software – Chandra Bhisan Yadav, Information Officer from Government of Nepal, Ministry of Health and Population, Nepal Health Research Council.

11) Open Access, Open Data and Open Research – Tika Gautam, PhD from Central Department of Sociology, TU.

Beside all this presentation there was also an presentation from Mr. Yadav Chandra Niraula, Chief from Nepal National Library and at the end of the day there was an felicitation program for the speakers where Director of Open Access Nepal gave token of love to all the participant.

Day 2nd (October 21) Workshop Day:

Workshop Day was divided into three parts, workshop one was about Open Access which was lead by Iryna Kuchma form Electronic Information for Libraries (EIFL), Workshop two was about Open Science and Collaborative Research which was lead by Kshitiz Khanal from Open Knowledge Nepal and Last Workshop three was about Open Data which was lead by Joshva Leslie from Open Nepal.

Open Knowledge Nepal hosted an interactive session on Open Science and Collaborative Research on the second day. The session we lead by Kshitiz Khanal, Team Leader of Open Access / Open Science for Open Knowledge Nepal with support from Iryna Kuchma and Nikesh Balami, Team Leader of Open Development / Government Data. About 8-10 Open Access experts of the country were present inside the hall to assist participants. The session began a half an hour before lunch where participants were first asked to brainstorm till lunch was over about what they think Open Science and Collaborative Research is, and the challenges relevant to Open Access that they have faced / might face in their Research endeavors. The participants were seated in round tables in groups of 7-8 persons, making a total of 5 groups.

After lunch, one team member from each group took turns in the front to present the summary of their brain-storming in colored chart papers. Participants came up with near exact definitions and reflected the troubles researchers in the country have been facing regarding Open Access. As we can expect of industrious students, some groups impressed the session hosts and experts with interesting graphical illustrations.

Iryna followed the presentations by her presentation where she introduced the concept, principles, and examples related to Open Science. Kshitiz followed Iryna with his presentation on Collaborative Research.

Session on Collaborative Research featured industry – academia collaborations facilitated by government. Collaborative Research needs more attention in Nepal as World Bank’s data of Nepal shows that total R&D investment is only equivalent to 0.3% of total GDP. Lambert Toolkit, created by the Intellectual Property Office of the UK, was also discussed. The toolkit provides agreement samples for industry – university collaborations, multi–party consortiums and few decision guides for such collaborations. The session also introduced version control and discussed simple web based tools for Collaborative Research like Google Docs, Etherpads, Dropbox, Evernote, Skype etc.

On the same day, Open Access Button was also launched by the Director of Open Access Nepal.This event dedicated to Open Access in Nepal was well received in the Open Communities of Nepal which has mostly concerned themselves with Open Data, Open Knowledge, and Open Source Software. A new set of audience became aware of the philosophy of Open. This author believes the event was a success story.